What We Do

We help newcomers to realize their potential and make positive contributions to American society.

As a national refugee resettlement agency, we take responsibility for assigning refugees to local communities across the U.S. and placing them in the hands of trusted organizations that help them meet their immediate and longer-term needs.

Local office staff provide case management services to newcomers and connect them to generous and caring community volunteers and organizations. Together, staff, volunteers, and service providers assist newcomers with initial resettlement tasks such as finding housing, enrolling children in school, securing employment, learning English, accessing health services, registering for public benefits, adjusting to American culture, and more.

At the national level, our head office teams provide program management and processing support by assigning families to local sites, monitoring the progress and outcomes of families, providing training and technical support for staff at local sites, and generating additional resources to meet emerging needs.

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Our Resettlement and Integration Programs

Reception and Placement Program

We prepare for refugees before they reach the U.S., welcome them upon arrival, set them up in a new home and community, and support them to get established within their first 90 days.

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Employment and Self-Sufficiency Program

We provide newcomers with training on topics such as resume building, interviewing, financial literacy, and U.S. work culture to help them find and keep employment during their first 6 months.

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Intensive Case Management Program

We offer individualized and long-term support for newcomers with special vulnerabilities, such as disabilities, emotional trauma, and LGBTQ identity, to help them function successfully in society.

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Explore Our Programs

Supporting Higher Education in Refugee Resettlement (SHERR) Program

We bring our expertise in engaging higher education institutions in refugee resettlement.

ECDC recognizes that Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can play a tremendous role in strengthening the capacity and resiliency of the refugee resettlement ecosystem.

Since early 2023, ECDC has been serving as a consortium partner for the Supporting Higher Education in Refugee Resettlement (SHERR) program. SHERR builds the capacity of higher education institutions to support refugee resettlement to improve refugee newcomers’ experiences and outcomes upon their arrival to the United States.

ECDC leverages its decades of experience in refugee resettlement to provide technical expertise and serve as a main bridge between SHERR and the other nine national refugee resettlement agencies and broader resettlement networks in the United States.

SHERR activities include:

  • Conducting stakeholder needs assessments;
  • Coordinating and expanding networks;
  • Identifying ‘pathways of engagement’ for HEIs to directly support refugee resettlement, especially in partnership with the nation’s 10 national resettlement agencies;
  • Developing resources, tools, trainings, curricula, and Communities of Practice and Action (CoPAs); and
  • Administering small innovation grants.

By going beyond the traditional model of refugee resettlement and sustaining and diversifying HEI engagement, SHERR seeks to facilitate innovative collaborations and pathways that build resiliency and strengthen refugee outcomes in their first 90 days in the United States and beyond.

SHERR is led by World Learning in collaboration with ECDC, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, and Welcome.US. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. For more information, visit SHERR’s Refugee Resource Hub (link), Higher Ed Refugee Hub Directory (link), and primary general information page (link).

Afghan Placement and Assistance Program

When global events result in a refugee crisis, we are ready to respond.

In August 2021, following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban quickly took over the country, placing millions of Afghans in grave danger. Operation Allies Welcome was quickly set in motion, evacuating more than 70,000 Afghans to U.S. soil and even more to third countries. To help these individuals who were entirely unprepared for resettlement and forced to leave under extremely traumatic conditions, the State Department created a new program called the Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA) Program.

The U.S. government turned to experienced and trusted partners, like ECDC, to help all these individuals and families start their lives over again in peace and safety. Our network was stretched to its very limits and resettled more than 7,000 Afghans across 22 local sites in less than six months between September 2021 and February 2022. The pace and volume of arrivals were unprecedented. Yet we were able to meet the moment thanks to the incredible outpouring of support we received at the national and local levels. We have seen community volunteers, companies, and foundations step up to help in various ways.

As challenging as this program has been, we are grateful to have played our part in responding to this humanitarian crisis. While the initial steps of resettlement for these Afghan families are essentially over, the road ahead for them is still fraught with challenges and uncertainty. People who were evacuated entered on humanitarian parole, which grants only temporary legal status to reside in the U.S. Without a legislative change, parolees must apply for asylum within one year and have it granted by the second year. Our network connects Afghan families to pro bono lawyers, immigration organizations, and legal aid clinics to meet this challenge.

Even though the crisis in Afghanistan has long left the headlines, we are committed to ensuring the Afghans we welcomed are successful in the coming years.

ECDC Private Sponsorship Resources

Special Projects and Initiatives

We seek to amplify the voices of refugee leaders in different ways and take action on causes meaningful to them.

With non-federal funds, we take on projects to innovate, advocate, educate, and co-create in order to expand opportunities for displaced persons both within the U.S. and internationally.

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ECDC Subsidiaries

In our desire to empower immigrants and refugees to become productive, contributing members of society, we created two separate non-profits that advance goals individuals have to create a better future for themselves and others.
Enterprise Development Group

EDG offers a bridge to self-sufficiency for immigrant, refugee, and low-income community members by providing business loans.

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Axumite Heritage Foundation

AHF carries out projects to restore, preserve, and promote ancient and modern cultural achievements in Axum, Ethiopia.

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